Here’s an advanced technique for stretching the hip flexors and front hip joint. Using a resistance band to apply an anterior glide to the upper thigh bone adds a super stretch to the the hip flexors and the front hip capsule. Great technique for runners and athletes who are looking to really open up the front hip and hip flexor muscles.
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So in our hip opener series, this is another one. This is a little bit more aggressive stretch for opening up the anterior or the front hip, your hip flexors, and really kind of opening up that whole anterior side or the front side of that area.
So I’ve done a couple of other stretches this way before, but we’re going to use a band for this one. And so it’s definitely a lot stronger than the other stretches, bit more of a mobilization with movement technique. You’re moving as well as you’re trying to mobilize and bring that whole femur, the thigh bone, forward, to give you a really good stretch. So I’ve got this band tied through this post right here and there’s a fair amount of force going through this band.
So I’m going to put this here and we’re going to set ourselves up essentially in that same position, so right about there in that half-kneeling lunge position. Now, what I’m going to do is, principle is the same: I’ve got to tighten my glutes first, so I really fire up my glutes, and the further I go back out, the stronger the pull is from the band and it’s pulling my whole hip, my thigh bone, my femur in this direction, forward direction. So I’ve got my glute, tightened up, my abdominals are tight, stomach muscles tight, so nice and stabilized through here. Tighten the glutes and abdominals, protects my low back as well as it helps giving me a lot stronger stretch in these structures, front of the hip and my hip flexors through here, the muscles.
So now what we do is, so I’m going to scoot back a little bit more to get a little more force through there, and I squeeze, and then I put my hand through here and I’m going to bring my arm up. I’m going to do a side-bend here. So I’m searching for spots, stiffer spots along the way. So I keep my back flat and I can extend a little bit higher up or arch up through here, and as I arch up a little bit I keep my low back flat and I definitely get a lot of pulling through this area. A little more side-bending through here, really open up the side. Add a little rotation to it.
And remember, if you want to add a little extra to that, the shift is forward, so meaning I shift my weight onto my front leg a little bit. That’s all I’m doing. I’m not arching my back to get that stretch. So there’s a really good amount of force going through here in a very solid stretch all through these structures.
So for those of you who are runners and athletes, this is a really good stretch and really helps open up that front of the hip. So two, three minutes, hang out there, stretching various directions, trying to hit all sorts of different angles and getting rid of those sticky spots. Do both sides. Make sure you protect your back. And as I said, fair amount of force going through this, and there are lighter bands available, too, so you don’t have so much force going through that.
I want to hear from, tell me what you think of this exercise.